'The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf': Constructing Diasporic Muslim Identities in a Coming-of-Age Narrative
The paper explores the representation of diasporic Muslim identities in a coming-of-age narrative: Arab American female novelist Mojha Kahf's bestseller The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf published in 2006. It examines how the religious diasporic hybrid identity is mobilized within the female protagonist Khadra Shamy, including the ways she struggles to negotiate her identity across different cultural terrains and gendered, racialised, intergenerational configurations. It attempts to show how
... ts to show how these literary representations construct – and help conceptualize—the ways we understand diasporic Muslims in the U.S. The individual experiences as narrated in the novel illuminate a series of essential socio-political questions facing the community as a religious minority in a secular context. This study will address these questions through the representation of cultural hybridity in the literary narrative within the framework of postcolonial theory. It focuses on three constructs of the novel central to the conceptualizing of a hybrid identity of the female protagonist: firstly, the mirror images and moral panics that generate cultural clashes in the East-West encounter, which foreground, secondly, the predicament of an ambivalent existence of the protagonist as a diasporic individual, and thirdly, the ways she forges her hybrid identity as a New Woman within the diasporic context.